VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Five individuals were arrested in Virginia Beach during an undercover operation to catch child predators conducted by FBI Norfolk in July.

In a nationwide enforcement campaign called “Operation Cross Country,” the FBI led initiatives in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC. During the campaign, the FBI helped to locate over 200 victims of sex trafficking nationwide, and arrested 126 individuals for child sexual exploitation or human trafficking offenses.

Law enforcement conducted specific operations in order to target offenders and help the victims.

“Child exploitation is one of the most horrific crimes the FBI investigates, and that’s why we pursue these bad actors so aggressively,” said Brian Dugan, FBI Norfolk Special Agent in Charge. “Each year the FBI conducts Operation Cross Country, it helps to send a powerful message that exploiting society’s most vulnerable will not be tolerated, and with the help of our partners, these offenders will be caught.”

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